RAC Cars News


8 Automatic Cars For Every Budget

By raccars Published

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An automatic gearbox used to be considered a lazy man's way of driving. Old style automatic transmissions were sluggish, heavy and uneconomical but that's all changed. Modern automatic boxes are in many ways taking over from manuals, both for performance and economy, but automotive purists lament the lack of engagement and sheer driving enjoyment that comes with taking the change of cogs out of the equation.

Nonetheless, those who do a lot of driving in traffic heavy, urban environments find the convenience of an automatic hard to beat. The following are some of the best automatic models in their respective classes.


The funky little Mini ticks a number of boxes in the city car segment. It has the sexy, retro styling and a fun drive on the open road or around town. However, the automatic version is great for allowing you to concentrate on posing while stuck in urban traffic, rather than getting an ache in your left leg from constant clutch manipulation.

Ford Fiesta

Britain's best selling car and arguably the best handling supermini out there really does have all bases covered. Ford's Powershift transmission is available on the 1.6 litre petrol and diesel turbo models, and they're still a fun drive.

Mazda 6

If you need something more spacious, both the saloon and estate models of the Mazda 6 are practical, stylish and economical. With a six speed automatic gearbox, you can expect 58.9mpg from the saloon version.

Seat Alhambra

Even bigger, the seven seater Seat MPV is cheaper to buy than many other cars in its class, is cheap to run at almost 50mpg and its dual clutch six speed automatic gearbox offers smooth and quick changes.

Jaguar XF

In the luxury sector, the 2.2 litre diesel turbo XF is still relatively affordable and comes with an eight speed automatic gearbox, 163bhp and impressive fuel economy of 55.4mpg.

BMW M135i

This is one example of an automatic car outshining its manual transmission equipped counterpart. The M135i executive hot hatch in automatic guise shaves 0.2 seconds off the manual's 0-62mph time, squeezes out an extra 2.4mpg and saves 13g/km in CO2 emissions.

Porsche Cayman

The more sporting Cayman shares a number of components with the less focused Boxster, including the impressive dual clutch seven speed PDK transmission.

Range Rover

Arguably, you're getting what you pay for with the Range Rover, which is cosseting luxury, extreme capability both on and off road and a super intelligent eight speed automatic gearbox that slips seamlessly between ratios.

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